Godolphin’s supporters are being encouraged to upload images of themselves ‘wearing the blue’ to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – using the hashtag: #WearTheBlue.
Those posting images will automatically enter a competition where they can win weekly prizes.
The overall winner of the competition will be selected from the six weekly winners, with one lucky fan winning a hospitality box for 10 people at Meydan for the Dubai World Cup race meeting.
Wearing the famous blue silks of Godolphin has been a dream for some, as Godolphin jockey and 2015 Dubai World Cup winner William Buick explains. “It is the ambition of every jockey to ride for the best stables in the world and Godolphin is at the top of this list. I still pinch myself whenever I’m getting into my blue silks for racing.
The silks of fledgling owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mansour Al Nahyan have been seen on a racecourse three times and, after Saturday’s Abu Dhabi victory of Shateh in the featured Group 3 Al Ruwais, have visited the winner’s enclosure on each occasion.
Areem won twice for him earlier in the season with both horses trained by Nacer Samiri, who also saddled the runner-up in the 1000m dash in the shape of Sha’Red, owned by Sheikh Mansour. Sha’Red was seeking a third consecutive win in the race his owner had won in each of the last five seasons.
Shateh, under Harry Bentley, was fastest away and was soon at the head of affairs, never relinquishing the lead.
Bentley said: “After 430 days off it is a great training performance and this horse is quick, talented and versatile. There are few 1000m races he can run in but he stays 1600m so the trainer has options with him.”
If stepped up to 1600m, Abhaar could be amongst his opposition after defending his crown in the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Gold Cup.
Restricted to horses foaled in the UAE and afforded Prestige status, the Eric Lemartinel-trained Abhaar registered his fourth win in the capital over the 1600m trip.
Winning jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, said: “He may have only won by a neck but had plenty in hand as he just does enough. He would probably stay further now but is very good over this trip.”
Makzon, ridden by Freddy Tylicki for Ahmad bin Hamash, won the only Thoroughbred race, a 2200m handicap, just as he had three weeks ago.
Two 1400m maidens opened the card with AZ Al Nayef taking the first with Hector Crouch riding for trainer Helal Al Alawi, before the Mohd Al Shamshi Infijar and Carlos Sanchez landed the second.
Veronica Aske trained her third winner of her debut season, saddling Latifa Princess to score in a 1200m handicap under Sam Hitchcott.
Having been forced to abandon their scheduled meeting two weeks ago to allow for remedial work on the turf, racing returns to Abu Dhabi Sunday and Sheikh Mansour will be hoping to win the featured Group 3 Al Ruwais for a sixth consecutive season.
Leading his dual assault on the race is Sha’Red, winner of the race 12 months ago having dead-heated with the same owner’s Rakha in this contest in 2014.
Trained by Nacer Saimiri, he will be ridden by Wayne Smith so Sha’Red is representing the same connections who combined to win the Group 1 middle round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on Thursday with Haajeb.
Smith said: “This is always a strong yard to ride for and I am really looking forward to rising Sha’Red for the first time. He clearly has a lot in his favour as he is proven over course and distance.”
With Smith’s mount carrying a penalty, stable companion, Shateh, the mount of Harry Bentley, could be the main danger although he will be sporting the fledgling colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mansour.
The new owner has only had one horse run previously, Areem, who has won both his starts so far this season.
However, Bentley’s mount has been off the track since December 2014 and will be trying this minimum trip for the first time. That said, he has always shown bags of pace so it could well suit him.
The only Thoroughbred race is a fascinating 2200m handicap and several connections will be hoping for a win to try and cement a rating sufficient to gain a run at the Meydan Carnival.
Just below a Carnival rating is Soviet Rock, trained by Ismail Mohammed and the mount of the aforementioned Smith.